When do I know when to replace my toothbrush?

Tooth brushing plays an important role in our everyday oral care and in the plaque and tartar removal. The American Dental Association recommends that we replace toothbrushes or brush heads (if you are using an electric toothbrush) every 3-4 months or sooner if the bristles became worn out or start to bend. It also depends on how often you brush your teeth. The fact is that after 3 months of normal wear, toothbrushes are less effective at removing plaque and tartar from and between teeth compared to new ones. The bristles also loose their capacity in getting to all the corners around your teeth
Researchers have found out that a single toothbrush can contain million of germs and bacteria. Since our oral cavity is home to hundreds of different types of microorganisms, some of these microorganisms are transferred to a toothbrush during use. It is also possible for microorganisms that are presented in the environment where toothbrushes are kept to establish themselves on the toothbrush.  Although these facts, there is no enough evidence to support that bacteria which grows on the toothbrushes will lead to oral health issues for you. As long as your toothbrush is given time to dry after you use it, you won’t get sick. The recommendation is to use the toothbrush, rinse it in tap water and then let it air dry in a vertical position.
Do you use a plastic cap to cover your toothbrush? Do not use it any more. The ADA study in 2007 confirmed that this plastic cap leads to growth of microorganisms since you must let your toothbrush dry in open air, to help reduce the spread of germs.
Please be aware that soaking a toothbrush in an antibacterial mouth rinse or using a toothbrush sanitizer has no effect. And do not use the microwave oven or the dishwasher to clean your toothbrush. It will damage it.

There are some recommendation for toothbrush carrying

  • Do not use someone else’s toothbrush and do not give yours to others to use it.
  • Do not forget to rinse your toothbrush with tap water after using it in order to remove any remaining toothpaste or food debris. Keep it in a vertical position and allow the toothbrush to air-dry before the next use. If you are a family, keep the toothbrushes separated to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Do not cover your toothbrushes with plastic caps or store them in closed containers. A closed space is more favorable for the germs growth.
  • Do not forget to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Or replace it in the moment you see the bristles are worn out and start to bend. This is the sign that the cleaning effectiveness will decrease. Children’s toothbrushes are replaced more often than adults’ toothbrushes.

As a conclusion, brushing is an important step in keeping your mouth and teeth healthy. It is a part of your daily oral routine. No matter what type of brush do you use (manual toothbrush or an electric one), you should change it (the entire toothbrush or only the head for the electric toothbrushes) every 3-4 months. In case you need further information on this topic or you have other dental issues, call today Dr. Arhiri to make an appointment.

 

References:

https://www.ada.org/en/about-the-ada/ada-positions-policies-and-statements/statement-on-toothbrush-care-cleaning-storage-and-
http://www.businessinsider.com/how-often-to-replace-your-toothbrush-according-to-dentists-2018-1?r=UK&IR=T
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/brushing-and-flossing/how-often-should-you-change-your-toothbrush-0114
https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/how-often-to-change-toothbrush
https://www.colgateprofessional.com/patient-education/articles/toothbrush-care-and-replacement
https://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/how-often-should-you-replace-your-toothbrush.aspx